Almost seven months after the brutal Delhi gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student inside a moving bus with tinted glasses, the government has come out with steps to bolster safety and security in public transport.
A committee headed by road secretary Vijay Chibber, to review safety standards in public transport vehicles, has decided to ban the use of curtains in all public buses and tourist buses, which do not have CCTVs fitted inside.
Operators of tourist buses argued that curtains should be allowed in long distance routes for passenger comfort, but the committee stated that comfort cannot compromise security.
“These operators will have to ensure CCTV recording,” said a road ministry official.
The committee has also decided to crack down on vehicles with heavily tinted glasses and has retained the maximum permissible levels of tinting in public buses: front and rear glasses should have a visual light transmission of 70% and side windows at least 50%.
“Those who do not comply will be penalised under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act,” said a ministry official, adding that necessary changes in the standard for tinted glasses will be made and “vehicle manufacturers will have to comply”.
“The ministry will also make necessary amendments in the MV rules,” he added.
In addition to road ministry officials, the committee also had representatives from the police and vehicle manufacturers.
The decisions follow a directive from the cabinet secretary, who held a series of meetings with senior officials of all stakeholder ministries in February to formulate an action plan to curb growing crime against women.